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The Guardian
2. The Shrine

He managed to build fire - there were logs in the kitchen as well as in the smithy - and the two of them enjoyed the warm waves falling on their bodies. The wind outside the cave was getting stronger and sang its endless song of cold and infinity.

Nlaminer sharpened the knife - the only weapon he had found in the outer buildings. Rhissa refused to use any weapon, and just carved the branch they had found into a sort of staff. The wood was still alive and could be brought to life again, explained she, but in this accursed place only spells could help it to survive. So while Nlaminer annoyed the silence with monotonous gnashes of steel against whetstone, Rhissa chanted over the newly carved staff and removed the last dead stripes of the bark.

After an hour they managed to make as decent weapons as the situation allowed and went out hunting. They separated - nothing showed any danger around - and began to search for food. Rhissa under water, Nlaminer went around the isle, right by the cliff.

The water was still warm and Rhissa after several minutes returned with her prey - several dozen fishes. Nlaminer returned only after an hour and reported there were nothing but gulls' eggs.

Instead, he discovered another hidden passage.

While he was frying his fish he told Rhissa about that.

"The entrance is well hidden and the door just slides to the left," he began. "It was inscribed with Andrynx rune, but there were no footprints in the cave, as if it had been abandoned for centuries."

Rhissa opened her eyes wider and a spark shone in them. She didn't find the hidden passage, despite she walked thrice around the isle. Nlaminer had a definite gift of tracking.

"Wonderful," she said after Nlaminer finished his story. "You help us a lot, my friend, for this is the only way to learn more. I wouldn't like to tell that before, but it seems something prevents me from talking to Naata."

Nlaminer was astonished beyond measure. "How long is it so ?"

"After we had our visions there, before that door."

"And you think the thing that sent all of this hides somewhere behind the door ?"

Rhissa shook her head. "No, that place is quite safe. Well, safer than you suppose. It's a crypt, very ancient crypt, built centuries before the lighthouse was constructed."

Nlaminer wanted to ask how she knew such things, but there was probably no need now. The certainty in Rhissa's voice was strong, and almost never made suggestions taken out of nowhere.

Nlaminer finished his meal and examined their water can.

"We have water for just a day, no more," he warned. "We should find some source somewhere."

"I wouldn't drink the water inside the lighthouse," remarked Rhissa. "Let's visit that Andrynx place first. If there is some source of fresh water, it's underground."

They hid the entrance to their new home as best they could and left.

Another storm was building up.

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-- mecenat --

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